23 booked for threatening voters, polling staff

The Rajupalem police of Guntur district on Tuesday registered a case against state Assembly Speaker Dr Kodela Siva Prasada Rao and 22 others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal intimidation.

Kodela is the TDP candidate from Sattenapalli constituency. The case was booked based on a complaint by the YSRCP.

The Rajupalem police registered the case under IPC sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 448 (house-trespass), 506 (criminal intimidation) and various sections of the People’s Representation Act.

Kodela is accused No. 3, while his supporters Ganesh Venkata Rao and Narra Ramesh are first and second accused, respectively.

The complainant Imam Vali said that on polling day, Rao and his followers locked themselves up in a polling booth at Inumatla village in the constituency. The YSRCP agent complained that Kodela and his men threatened him and also the voters. The YSRCP alleged that Kodela and his followers had plans to rig the votes.

The action came after YSRCP president YS Jaganmohan Reddy met Governor ESL Narasimhan and complained that the police had not booked a case against Kodela and others. Kodela, on the other hand, said that YSR Congress workers attacked and injured him.

The footage that has gone viral on social media also shows a mob beating up Kodela and chasing his SUV even as the police are seen trying to rescue him.

According to sub-inspector T Ashok Babu, Kodela’s assistant Ganesh had gone to the Inumatla polling booth and insisted on voters casting their votes for Kodela. A little later, Kodela arrived along with Ramesh and several others. They entered the polling booth and locked themselves inside for about 45 minutes, threatening YSR Congress activist Imam Vali and others of dire consequences.

During an altercation between the TDP and YSRC groups, Kodela’s supporter Poodota Kiran reportedly threatened the voters, saying the entire village would be destroyed and the people would be killed if they did not vote for Kodela.

Sattenapalli DSP Khalesha Vali rushed to the polling booth and took away Kodela and his followers. 

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